Friday, July 23, 2010

The Impact Movement Makes a Difference in Orlando

One of the best ministry opportunities that The Impact Movement and Campus Crusade for Christ offer are our summer mission trips. These trips provide students the chance to grow in their relationship with God, gain valuable ministry experience and reach out to those in the communities in which these trips take place. This summer alone, Campus Crusade, along with Impact, sent over 3,500 college students to 220 locations throughout the world.

One of these teams was based in Orlando, Florida at the headquarters of The Impact Movement. Those that participated in this program were featured in today's copy of The Orlando Times, a local newspaper that seeks to serve the needs of the Central Florida black community. Here's the article:
"Four African American college students from across the nation are tutoring children this summer in the Parramore area of Holden Heights with the community center Restore Orlando. The students – representing Carroll University, North Carolina State University, Rice University and Rochester Institute of Technology – are part of The Impact Movement’s summer internship program, based at the organization’s headquarters in Orlando.

Impact is an international ministry of discipleship, evangelism and service that envisions each community of African descent fulfilling its destiny as a reflection of the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. The ministry includes a campus, community and world focus, and has a presence on more than 100 U.S. colleges and universities.

Serving weekly in the local Orlando community is part of the Impact internship experience. The students, along with Impact staff members, serve Wednesday afternoons at Restore Orlando’s summer program tutoring elementary children in math, doing arts and crafts, and playing indoor and outdoor games with them.

Donavan Jackson, a rising college sophomore, shared, "We are planting in them a vision of things that can happen in the future for them," he said. "I really want to stand out to the young. Just show them the way respectable young men can grow up to be."

Dr. Charles Gilmer, President of Impact, explained reaching the African American community is so important because, "There is a desperate need for people who will take what they learn and will want to go back and give back to the community." Gilmer also shared each Impact college chapter will be encouraged this year to recognize a student community outreach coordinator. There will also be a national campaign for students to regularly tutor a child as an expression of Impact’s commitment to the community.

Restore Hope (RH), founded in 1992 by members of the First Church of the Nazarene, is a strategic place for Impact to partner and serve. According to its web site, the area serviced by the mission is roughly comprised of 89 percent African Americans, 8 percent Caucasians and 3 percent Hispanics. 80 percent of the children come from single parent homes, many are in the legal custody of a grandparent and a large percentage receives federal lunch programs, which is a poverty indicator.

David Washington, staff member with RH for four and a half years, sees the effects of these statistics in the lives of the children daily. "They need help, love and hope," he said. "Jesus met people in need and we should be willing to do the same."

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